Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Moron In A Hurry


Photoshopped parody of depression era protest. Men with corporation logos over their faces hold protest signs. 'Equal rights for corporations' 'Corporations are people too' Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
I'll believe corporations are people when conservatives ban them from marrying each other. @CroweJam
Because the judicial system is not nearly complicated enough, there is a concept called legal fiction. In order to apply some laws, a fictitious assumption is made. For example, corporations are NOT really people because – well, they aren't, BUT per our court system, in they view of the law, they are, AND are therefore entitled to certain rights and legal protections.
Cartoon of Edward Vaughan Hyde Kenealy, eccentric Irish Barrister, Illustration MEN OF THE DAY, No.71 Vanity Fair, 1 November 1873. Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
Edward Vaughan Hyde Kenealy,
eccentric Irish Barrister,
spoke for 21 days in defense of his client,
who lost his case.
However, British courts trounce American courts in complexity and obsolete ritual.
One of my less productive ideas was to look at the historical construction of the court system and highlight why some aspects of the judicial system are not functional (and by some, I mean lots, and by not functional, I mean less productivity and rational ability than a nap deprived toddler).
Photo of angry Barristers protesting the 2012 changes to legal aid funding and lack of representation. A female barrister in court dress, shouts her displeasure, wearing an I Heart Legal Aid badge. Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
Barristers, protesting the 2012 changes to legal aid funding and lack of representation. 
The short answer is, the historic developmental and current juggernaut is beyond my attention span.
A hint at the longer answer is the contrast between acceptable Court Dress for US justices and their counterparts across the pond.
Portrait of John Jay, (1745-1829), painted by Gilbert Stuart. First Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, wearing traditional red judicial robes. Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
One can only imagine how effective justice might be if admissible in a court of law. - Robert Brault
The US Supreme Court dress was briefly fancified but since then, while the Justices can choose courtroom attire, they stick to traditional black robes. Bar members are asked to wear “professional business attire” and participants are warned that “inappropriate clothing may not be worn.”
Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, 1983, interviewed by the press, going to court in a wheelchair, wearing the US flag as a diaper, a soldier's helmet, and a purple heart pinned to a bulletproof vest. Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
Larry Flynt, wearing an American flag as a diaper in court.
He was jailed for six months for 
desecration of the flag.
That gives some interpretationally challenged individuals a bit of leeway and some intentionally provocative individuals enough structure to rebel against.

Appropriate British Court Dress:

A photo of several British advocates, arms folded, looking grumpy. Photo was taken from below, looking up.  All male advocates (whether barrister or solicitor) wear a white stiff wing collar with bands. Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
Appropriate British Court Dress
and appropriate British Court attitude? 
All male advocates (whether barrister or solicitor) wear a white stiff wing collar with bands (two strips of linen about 5"/13 cm by 1"/25 mm hanging down the front of the neck) . . .
and that is just the regulations for the collar.

The annual Judges Service at Westminster Abbey, 2013. The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the head of the judiciary and President of the Courts of England and Wales, The Right Honourable Sir John Thomas, in full traditional dress, proceeds into the Abbey. Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
is the head of the Judiciary
and President of the Courts of England and Wales.
 
"At present High Court judges have no less than five different sets of working dress, depending on the jurisdiction in which they are sitting and the season of the year."
The Lord Chief Justice, when robed, dresses like a High Court Judge with the distinction of a train to his scarlet robe. On ceremonial occasions he wears the scarlet and fur hood and mantle, and a gold chain of office in the form of a Collar of Esses.
British High Court Judge, robes and wig flying in the wind, in procession from Temple Bar to Westminster Abbey, Central London 2001. Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
British High Court Judge in procession from
Temple Bar to Westminster Abbey in Central London, 2001.
A shoulder-length ceremonial wig will set the owner back £1,500 or $2,300. Recent changes in Court Dress would allow judicial professionals to go sans wig in civil and family court cases. A daring break from 17th century.

 British Legal Fiction:
Photo, circa 1860, Men in Top Hats ride on a knifeboard omnibus in London. The Man on the Clapham Omnibus, similar to the US Man on the Street. Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
Passengers on a  'Knifeboard' Omnibus in London, circa 1860 
The Man on the Clapham Omnibus, similar to the US Man on the Street, a reasonably educated nondescript person of average intelligence, against whom the defendant's conduct can be measured.
There are a few convoluted concepts dealing with the transfer of property including The Fertile Octogenarian, The Unborn Widow, and The Precocious Toddler.
Fake Brands Arm and Hatchet and Could it be Butter. The trademark infringement test, Would they fool a moron in a hurry? Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
Would a moron in a hurry be fooled? 
The best legal fiction is A Moron In A Hurry. A trademark infringement can be disputed if two similar products with similar packaging could only be confused by a moron in a hurry.  
That is a litmus test America needs to adopt immediately!
Can the instructions for medication management be followed by a moron in a hurry? 
Can a moron in a hurry successfully get from the airline gate to baggage claim? 
Can the EZ IRS form be completed correctly by a moron in a hurry? By a moron with an extensive amount of leisurely time? By a man on the Clapham Omnibus with the assistance of a fertile octogenarian?
British Legal Stamina:
The Mayor of Worcester participates in The Worcester Rotary club annual pancake race. Councillor David Tibbutt races in traditional robes while holding a pancake in a skillet. Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
The Mayor of Worcester, in ceremonial robes and finery, participating in the annual Worcester Rotary Club Pancake Race.
William Jennens“The Miser of Acton” 
died in 1798, unmarried and with a fortune of £2 million (worth £200 million today). His family kept the case in court for one hundred and seventeen years, until 1915, when all the funds had been consumed by legal representation.
 Anna Nicole Smith holds a photo of her late husband J. Howard Marshall II in Probate Court, 2001. 'Lawyers believe that a man is innocent until proven broke.' - Robin Hall. Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
Anna Nicole Smith holding a photo of her late husband J. Howard Marshall II, while testifying in Probate Court, 2001.
Impressive when considering the American legal debacle between Anna Nichole Smith and the Howard Marshall family, despite being heard twice at the US Supreme Court, and the minor issue that all direct parties have died, has only been around since 1995.
Judge Judy has no time for this. Judge Judy hitting her desk and pointing to her watch. Court Complexities and Legal Fiction, A Moron In A Hurry marchmatron.com
Judge Judy has no time for this. 
Unless the American judicial steamroller manages to keep the case open until 2112, we will have to conceded to superior British legal finagling. 

#lawyer #court #judge

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